September 4, 2015
Congratulations to John A. Georges, BS ’51, who will be inducted into the University of Illinois College of Engineering’s Hall of Fame later this month.
Mr. Georges will be among five individuals honored at the hall of fame ceremony on September 18 at the Beckman Institute. The ceremony is part of Impact Day, which celebrates the college’s impact on the world.
Mr. Georges is being honored for his corporate leadership in guiding International Paper Company to become a world leader in forest and paper products.
The College of Engineering Hall of Fame inductees are chosen for their significant achievements in leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation of great impact to society. Other inductees for 2015 include Martin F. Eberhard, for entrepreneurship and pioneering contributions to electric vehicles; Robert D. Kern, for entrepreneurial tenacity in building Generac to a leader in lightweight portable generators and his philanthropic spirit in helping shape the next generation of engineers; David J. Kuck, for significant contributions in both research and development through industry to productivity tools in parallel computing; and Sir Anthony J. Leggett, for global contributions to low-temperature physics, which earned him the 2003 Nobel Prize.
Mr. Georges graduated from the UI in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and has an M.B.A. from Drexel University. After graduating from the UI, Mr. Georges started his career with DuPont, where he spent 28 years in various positions, including General Manager of Textile Fibers and Chief Environmental Officer. He joined International Paper Company in 1979 as an executive vice president and served as president and COO of International Paper from 1981 to 1984 and CEO and chairman from 1984 until his retirement in 1996.
A member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board, he served as its president from 1995 to 1997. Mr. Georges serves on numerous other boards. He is a former director of the New York Stock Exchange from 1987 to 1993; director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 1986 to 1992, chairman of the National Council on Economic Education from 1991 to 1992; and chairman of the American Paper Institute from 1991 to 1992.
As Operating Partner at One Rock Capital Partners, he focuses on chemicals and process industries. He also is a principal at Greenwich Chemical Partners. Mr. Georges served as an Industrial Partner at Ripplewood Holdings, LLC from 1999 to 2009. While at Ripplewood, he was responsible for sourcing, executing, and overseeing Ripplewood’s investments in the specialty chemicals and other process industries.